Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/31/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Explains jewelry's presence before iron smelting was brought to region

It turns out that a 5,000 year old ancient Egyptian artifact hides an incredible secret; it was made from a meteorite. It's a significant find as it explains how ancient Egyptians obtained iron thousands of years before iron smelting was introduced to the region. That mystery has confounded scientists - until now.

Strings of iron beads, excavated in 1911 at the Gerzeh cemetery, a burial site south of Cairo started scientists on the intriguing trail. The relic dates from 3350 to 3600 BC, thousands of years before Egypt's Iron Age.

Strings of iron beads, excavated in 1911 at the Gerzeh cemetery, a burial site south of Cairo started scientists on the intriguing trail. The relic dates from 3350 to 3600 BC, thousands of years before Egypt's Iron Age.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/31/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Egypt, meteorites, iron, jewelry, worship


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The discovery also reveals a component of the Egyptians' religion, as well as the divine attributes they attached to meteorites. "The sky was very important to the ancient Egyptians," Joyce Tyldesley, an Egyptologist at the University of Manchester says. "Something that falls from the sky is going to be considered as a gift from the gods."

Strings of iron beads, excavated in 1911 at the Gerzeh cemetery, a burial site south of Cairo started scientists on the intriguing trail. The relic dates from 3350 to 3600 BC, thousands of years before Egypt's Iron Age.

The bead first analyzed was originally assumed to be from a meteorite owing to its composition of nickel-rich iron. This theory was challenged in the 1980s when academics proposed that much of the early worldwide examples of iron use originally thought to be of meteorite-origin were actually early smelting attempts.

Diane Johnson, a meteorite scientist at the Open University in Milton Keynes along with her colleagues used scanning electron microscopy and computed tomography to analyze one of the beads, which they borrowed from the museum.

Areas where the weathered surface had fallen away, provided Johnson with what she described as "little windows" to the preserved metal beneath.

The nickel content of this original metal was found to be high, suggesting that it did indeed come from a meteorite. Johnson also observed that the metal had a distinctive crystalline structure called a Widmanstätten pattern. This structure is found only in iron meteorites that cooled extremely slowly inside their parent asteroids while the Solar System was forming.

"Meteorites have a unique micro-structural and chemical fingerprint because they cooled incredibly slowly as they travelled through space. It was really interesting to find that fingerprint turn up in Egyptian artifacts," Philip Withers, Professor of Materials Science at The University of Manchester said.

Meteorite iron had profound implications for the ancient Egyptians, both in their perception of the iron in the context of its celestial origin and in early metallurgy attempts.

"Today, we see iron first and foremost as a practical, rather dull metal. To the ancient Egyptians, however, it was a rare and beautiful material which, as it fell from the sky, surely had some magical/religious properties," Tyldesley says.

"They therefore used this remarkable metal to create small objects of beauty and religious significance which were so important to them that they chose to include them in their graves."


---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Africa

Fifteen African countries prioritized to stem Ebola crisis Watch

Image of The World Health Organization is pledging to

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The World Health Organization is pledging to "ramp up" efforts in order to prevent Ebola from spreading. Fifteen African countries are being prioritized, WHO official Isabelle Nuttall told reporters. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In related news, former ... continue reading


Obianuju Ekeocha: Open Letter to A Synod Father - Listen to the African Bishops! Watch

Image of Obianuju Ekeocha- Our heart-felt appeal for Gospel values to be upheld is indeed a cry for survival for our people. Because in this year alone many African nations and leaders have been terrorized and threatened by powerful and well funded homosexual lobbying groups who have tried to bend us or break us into acceptance of their lifestyle.We have seen humanitarian aid withdrawn by Western nations at the insistence of these totalitarian groups. We have seen a new brand of

By Obianuju Ekeocha

Imagine my shock as I read the words of one of the most prominent Synod Fathers who implied that the views and values that our African Synod Fathers have expressed on certain issues will not or have not been listened to (probably by the synod fathers from the ... continue reading


Algerian authorities keep vigilant eye on Ebola virus Watch

Image of Algeria is taking special steps to insure that Ebola does not become a problem.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Although no cases of Ebola have been reported -- and there are no suspected cases of it within the nation of Algeria, local authorities remain vigilant with the Ebola virus pandemic. Ministry of Health Spokesman Belkessam Salim has confirmed this. ALGIERS, ... continue reading


Nigeria and Senegal may be Ebola free, WHO says Watch

Image of Nigeria is set to be declared Ebola free on October 20. Eight people died in the Ebola outbreak that occurred there after a Liberian man infected with the disease entered the country.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Nigeria and Senegal could be declared Ebola-free within just days, as the two countries near the 42-day period without any new cases. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "If the active surveillance for new cases ... continue reading


Tunisian authorities work with Algerian forces to combat terrorism Watch

Image of Tunisian Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa has proclaimed that

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

With the approach of parliamentary elections in Tunisia, scheduled for this coming October 26, local authorities are coordinating efforts with their Algerian counterparts to maintain the borders under surveillance. ALGIERS, ALGIERIA (Catholic Online) - Both ... continue reading


Ancient ritual of female child abuse must end, activists say Watch

Image of In Kenya, 27 percent of women undergo FGM, although it reaches 98 percent in some communities, such as the Somali.

By Katy Migiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Africa can end female genital mutilation (FGM) in 20 years, activists said on Friday as they launched a continent-wide campaign, calling the ancient ritual a form of child abuse aimed at controlling women's sexuality. NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - FGM, a ... continue reading


French forces 'destroy' al-Qaeda weapons convoy Watch

Image of The same source added that the intervention helped to capture a significant amount of weapons and neutralize conveyors.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Following the resurgence of terrorist activity in northern Mali, French forces have been deployed in the Sahel as part of Operation Barkhane. Troops destroyed an AQIM convoy carrying weapons from Libya to Mali passing through northern Niger last week. The ... continue reading


Liberian health workers continue treating the sick even with limited protective gear Watch

Image of Aid workers in Liberia bury the body of an Ebola victim.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A call for thousands of Liberian healthcare workers to begin an indefinite strike has largely been ignored by the majority. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The National Health Workers Association of Liberia (NHWAL) called for the strike-which was set to begin on ... continue reading


Boko Haram has destroyed nearly 200 churches in Nigeria Watch

Image of Fighters from Boko Haram, an anti-west, Islamist terrorist organization.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic terrorists organization Boko Haram has destroyed nearly 200 churches in north-eastern Nigeria. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 186 destroyed churches were part of the Maiduguri Diocese, in 14 parishes in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.Combat ... continue reading


Libya envoy warns about Islamic State's influence, activities Watch

Image of Talks under United Nations mediation are underway between the Libyan parliament and political opposition figures in the border town of Ghadames to prevent the country from falling further into anarchy.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bernardino Leon, the United Nations envoy to Libya, stated that the self-styled Islamic State organization is already operating in the North African region which is already plagued by violence. Leon focused on "the Libyans who fought in Syria and Iraq" and would ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:1-10
1 And you were dead, through the crimes and the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:13-21
13 A man in the crowd said to him, 'Master, tell my ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 20th, 2014 Image

St. Paul of the Cross
October 20: St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter